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The Women’s Atlas

The Women’s Atlas is a unique and select Atlas that has been superbly researched and presented. It shows a global view of women’s lives around the world and gives statistics to support the understanding of the main issues that face women. The research is current and is interesting as well as challenging. There are many aspects of injustice which are not being dealt with, and the facts show where and how this is happening.

Some of the headings for the teasing out of issues are Health, Education, Power, Work and Body Politics. Under the heading of Household Size, we see a map of the world with colours denoting households with less than 3 people, and 6 people and over. Australia has fewer than 3 people in a house as an average. We also learn that in Sweden, 52% of all households have only one person. Women comprise the majority of single person households.

There are pages of data showing things such as “Dress Offensive.” The actual percentage of people who agree that women should choose their own clothing is varied. In Tunisia, 56% of people say yes, while in Egypt the number is just 14%. Honour killings and Justified beatings were also voted on, and in Ethiopia, 68% of people agreed with the practice.

 An interesting page shows the location of the greatest number of births in the world. The highest rates are in Nigeria, Somalia and Mali. The lowest birth rates are in Hong Kong, Portugal and Singapore. Moving to sport, there is a section on Women in the Olympics. In 1900, there were just 2% of women involved, compared with 45% in 2016.  Another page discusses cosmetics. It shows that personal care products often contain dangerous substances such as parabens and neurotoxins. The skin whitening products sold to women contain Mercury and steroids, and in the USA, many cosmetics manufactured are unregulated.

Looking at the statistics for women in the work force is surprising. Australia, China and Canada, along with Denmark, Norway and Sweden have 70% or more women who work. India and Mexico, along with countries in North Africa, have fewer than 30% of women working for pay.

The amount of data and statistics gathered for this Atlas is enormous. Already it is out of date, as the numbers were obtained in 2016. However, no other book has so comprehensively shown the information about women as raw data and this makes it a valuable resource. The presentation of maps demonstrating numbers by colour and the following pages of explanation, is well done. This will be the basis for many a policy discussion and should be available for all to see.


AuthorJoni Seager
PublisherNewSouth Publications
DistributorNew South Books
ReleasedNovember 2018